23 February, 2006

Amin Maalouf - Al 3amama

NOTE: Nothing like shamless advertising! Please find below a post originally posted at the Arabic UAE Community Blog. Enjoy!

Dear readers,

Whist reading Amin Maalouf's latest book "Bidayat" which translates to "Beginnings" I came across these very interesting poems, or lines. This book relates to the beginnings of Amin Maalouf's family and his ancestors. These lines were written in Arabic by his grandfather "Bu6rus" who lived in Ottoman-occupied Lebanon.

These few lines are about how Butrus detested the stagnant intellectual of his country. He's sad about how they were so great and now in 1907 they are nothing. He asks us to look forward and to...

بني وطني حان النهوض لنــــــــائم ^^ و للبالغ العشــــرين نزع التمائـــــم
و حان لمن ضلت ســــــــوائم فضله ^^ زمانا طويلا نشـــــده للسوائــــــــم
وحان لنا أن ندرك الغرب في العلـى ^^ ولو سامنا الإدراك فوت الجماجــم
بني وطني أنتم بنو المـــجد و العلى ^^ و أنتــــم أبناء الرجال الأعاظــــــم
و أنتم من أهدى إلى الغرب علــــمـــه ^^وسن له طرق السدى و المكــــارم

و أنتم من أعلى ممن الحكمة اللـــوا: ^^ وقال اتبعهــا يا مريد العظائــــــم
فمنكم موســى و المسيــــح و أحمــد ^^ و أتباعهم من كل مولى قماقــــــم
و من خلفكم خلق إبن سينا و صحبه ^^ و من خلفكم أخلاق معن و حاتـم
فــــقومو مع العصر البسو من لبوسه ^^ وقولوا مضت أيام لبس العمــائــم

The last line of the poem is a work of genius, and because of it I wanted to post this poem.

A few words about the author:

Amin Maalouf is a Lebanese/French author who writes primarily in French. His works are translated into many languages including Arabic and English. He was born in 1949 in Lebanon and has moved to France when he was about 25 and has lived there ever since. He mainly writes fiction (fused with historical figures) in books such as Samarkand, The Rock of Tanios, Leo the African to note a few. His main non-fictional works are The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (a very interesting book) and his latest "Beginnings" from which these lines in Arabic are from.

It's a bit ironic that an Arab has to leave his country to advance his career then his books ultimately get written in a different language then translated back to Arabic for his compatriots to read. I've only read his works in English and Arabic, never the original French, but all the translations are very well done and to an exceptionally high standard.

1 comment:

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...


It would be lovely if you could translate the lines. My Arabic is somewhat weak.


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